Financial Hardship during the Corona Pandemic | Munich Center for the Economics of Aging - MEA
01.08.2020 - 31.07.2021 / SHARE - Research

Financial Hardship during the Corona Pandemic

The corona pandemic has had a substantial effect on the economies in the EU member states and, consequently, on Europeans’ financial well-being. Due to the selective economic effects of lockdown measures, we suspect that the downturn will affect some households disproportionally. This project will shed light on risk groups for financial hardship during the pandemic, using variables on both economic deprivation and poverty risk from the SHARE Corona Add-on data. Due to SHARE’s design as an international panel study, these subjective and objective measures can be assessed to compare the financial situation of the 50+ population before and during the covid crisis as well as across countries.

First, we will analyze variables on the household level. The respondents’ employment situation can illustrate income security – be it by the number of employed respondents in a household or their form of employment (full-time/part-time, dependent/self-employment, reduced working hours). Additionally, the kind of work the respondents do (e.g. white collar/blue collar) is relevant for their infection risk and job stability as well as for the availability of home office arrangements. Non-employment-based sources of income like pensions and government benefits can also contribute to a household’s financial stability.

Second, we will use country-level independent variables to shed light on the economic effects of national covid responses. We will analyze the association of disease impact and countermeasures with economic impact using infection numbers and death rates. Categorizing severity and length of lockdown measures will inform about the economic consequences of such measures. Further economic indicators help assess the countries’ economic vulnerability and correct seasonal trends.


Alexander Schumacher